Thursday, February 26, 2009

Old and Wise
As I read chapter two I became more aware of the relationship between Janie and her Grandmother and how affectionate and strong it was. Hurston uses a great amount of imagery to express their relationship and to describe each individual and their characteristics. In chapter two, the narrator stated, “She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her?... Looking, waiting, breathing short with impatience. Waiting for the world to be made” (Hurston 11). This imagery of nature and the bee’s and leaves that was used to describe Janie’s characteristics and feelings reminded me of the Disney tale Pocahontas. Pocahontas is an individual who looks to nature to seek her true meaning of life which relates to Janie’s impatience while waiting for the world to be made. Both woman are filled with desperation and hope that they will one day be satisfied with the life they live and therefore turn to nature to decide what they want. They strived for “the singing bees” which they do not have and the love that would one day fill their hearts. Although they are both extremely independent, they long for someone who can make their life worthwhile and understand them for who they truly are.
As Hurston describes, the Grandmother’s head and face “looked like the standing roots of some old tree that had been torn away by a storm. Foundation of ancient power that no longer mattered.” Hurston stated that “the cooling palma Christi leaves that Janie has bound about her grandma’s head with a white rag had wilted down and become part and parcel of the woman. Her eyes didn’t bore and pierce. They diffused and melted Janie, the room and the world into one comprehension. (Hurston 12). This brilliant imagery creates a visualization in my head of the old Willow Tree that served as the mentor figure to Pocahontas. She is old, yet wise, and her brilliant appearance has worn away but her heart is still tremendously intact. The Grandmother, representing the image of an old tree, serves as Janie’s inspiration and comprehension of the world. She gives advice to Janie not to make her unhappy but to give her a better life. It reminds me of the relationship between Pocahontas and the Grandmother Willow because the old Willow serves as an encourager to Pocahontas where she can free her mind and the willow will lead her in the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant pictures. I remember collecting mcdonald's pocahontas toys when I was a youngin'. Indeed that willow tree is as wise as the universe is big.